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Bridging Open Work Permit

Updated: November 30th, 2021

Are you currently working in Canada and enjoying all the great things the country has to offer? If you’re thinking of moving to Canada permanently, you can do so with the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a way to allow foreign nationals in Canada to continue working while their application for permanent residency is being processed. You’ll be considered for a BOWP if you’ve applied for permanent residence via one of the eligible economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program;
  • Canadian Experience Class;
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program;
  • Provincial Nominee Program;
  • Quebec Skilled Workers; and
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program.

The BOWP will allow you to legally work in Canada until a decision has been made on your permanent residence application.

Did you know?

The BOWP is an open work permit which means that you are able to work for any employer in Canada. This makes navigation into the Canadian labour market easier since you don’t have to find an employer willing to go through the process of applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Who Is Eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit


1. You must currently be living in Canada after you’ve already been authorized to enter as a temporary resident, you must:

  • have a valid working permit;
  • have the authorization to work in Canada under section 186(u) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) due to submitting an application to renew their work permit under subsection R201(1); or
  • be eligible to restore your temporary resident status with authorization to work on a work permit.

2. You must have submitted an application for Canadian permanent residence for one of the following programs as the primary applicant:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program;
  • Canadian Experience Class;
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program;
  • Provincial Nominee Program;
  • Quebec Skilled Workers; and
  • Agri-Food Pilot Program.

3. You must have completed one of the Application for Permanent Residence (APR) stages:

  • electronic application for permanent residence submitted under Express Entry has passed the completeness check under Section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  • APR under the Quebec skilled worker program passed the Section 10 of IRPR completeness check;
  • Receipt of a positive eligibility assessment on their APR submitted by mail or online under the Caring for Children Class, Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class, Agri-Food Pilot, or non-Express Entry PNP stream.

Please note the stage completed above depends on the program you’re applying for.

A great benefit of this permit is that once you successfully obtain a BOWP, your spouse or partner may also be eligible for an open work permit.

Eligibility for your spouse or partner


There are certain requirements that will need to be met in order for your spouse or partner to receive an open work visa. They need to:

  • hold a valid work permit or is authorized to work in Canada without a work permit under Section 186(w) of IRPR;
  • be authorized to work in Canada for at least 6 months after the spousal open work permit application is received;
  • be employed in 1 of the following: a job that falls under National Occupational Classification, (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A or B, a NOC 0, A, B, or C application under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, any occupation and formally holds a provincial nomination certificate or any occupation and formally holds a Quebec Selection Certificate;
  • is physically residing in Canada or plans to physically reside in Canada while employed; and
  • is in a genuine relationship with their spouse or common-law partner.

How do I apply for a BOWP?

You can apply online on the government website or via You’ll also need to pay your fees along with the fees of anyone else joining you. You will be asked to pay your fees at the end of your application.

Fees for Open Work Permits
Visa Fee CAD
work permit $155
open work permit holder $100/td>

There are several benefits to applying online, they include:

  • you can ensure your application is filled correctly and completely before submitting;
  • it’s cost-effective because you won’t have any courier or mail fees;
  • submitting additional documents will be done quicker; and
  • all updates of your application will go directly to your online account.

Please note that you can apply via paper application as well.

To make this process even easier for yourself, get the help of Canadian immigration experts at We work alongside knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who will take care of everything from ensuring you know which documents are needed to submitting the documents on your behalf.

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